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104                                   ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
raised to the strings, and acted as plectra, by impinging, or twitching them. These jacks were the constant subject of simile and pun; for instance, in a play of Dekkcr's, where Matheo complains that his wife is never at home, Orlando says, "No, for she's like a pair of virginals, always with jackt at her tail."—(Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. iii., p. 398). And in Middleton's Father Hubburd's Tales, de­scribing Charity as frozen, he says, "Her teeth chattered in her head, and leaped up and down like virginal jacks."
One branch of the barber's occupation in former days was to draw teeth, to bind up wounds, and to let blood. The parti-coloured pole, which was exhibited at the doorway, painted after the fashion of a bandage, was his sign, and the teeth he had drawn were suspended at the windows, tied upon lute strings. The lute, the cittern, and the gittern hung from the walls, and the virginals stood in the corner of his shop. " If idle," says the author of The Trimming of Thomas Nashe, " barbers -pass their time in life-delighting musique," (1597). The barber in Lyly's Midas, (1592), says to his apprentice, " Thou knowest I have taught thee the knacking of the hands,* like the tuning of a cittern," and Truewit, in Ben Jonson's Silent Woman, wishes the barber " may draw his own teeth, and add them to the lute-string." In the same play, Morose, who had married the barber's daughter, thinking her faithless, exclaims "That cursed barber! I have married his cittern, that is common to all men." One of the commentators not understanding this, altered it to "I have married his cistern" &c. Dekker also speaks of " a barber's cittern for every serving-man to play upon."
One of the Merrie-conceited jests of George Peek is the stealing of a barber's lute, and in Lord Falkland's Wedding Night, we read "He has travelled and speaks languages, as a barber's boy plays o'th' gittern." Ben Jonson says,b " I can compare him to nothing more happily than a barber's virginals; for every man may play upon him," and in The Staple of News, "My barber Tom, one Christmas, got into a Masque at court, by his wit and the good means of his cittern, holding up thus for one of the music." To the latter passage Gifford adds another in a note. " For you know, says Tom Brown, that a cittern is as natural to a barber, as milk to a calf, or dancing bears to a bagpiper."
As to the music they played, we may assume it to have been, generally, the common tunes of the day, and such as would be familiar to all. Morley, in his Introduction to Music, tells us that the tune called the Quadrant Pavan, was called Gregory Walker, " because it walketh 'mongst barbers and fiddlers more common than any other," and says in derision, " Nay, you sing you know not what; it should seem you came lately from a barber's shop, where you had Gregory Walker, or a Coranto, played in the new proportions by them lately found' out." Notwithstanding this, we find the Quadran Pavan (so called, I suppose, because it was a pavan for four to dance) was one of the tunes arranged for queen Elizabeth in her Virginal Book; and Morley, himself, arranged it for
* The knacking of the hands was 3 peculiar crack with barber was expected to make while shaving a customer. the fingers, by knocking them together, which every         * Every man in his humour. Act iii., so. 2.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III